How Long Do Chickens Live?
Chickens are mainly egg laying creatures and their egg laying abilities will diminish as a function of their age.
This is dependent upon their genetic background, gender and living conditions. All chickens are not alike in their laying ability. For example, free-range chickens tend to lay more eggs than their caged counterparts. Also, chickens that are allowed to roam outdoors during the daytime tend to lay more eggs than chickens kept exclusively in their coop or inside a house.
Many chicken owners will use an egg calculation formula to determine how long it will take a chicken to lay her last egg. The formula is based on a generally accepted average of 280 eggs per year for an industrially raised chicken.
It is important to note that hens are in their prime egg-laying years when they are approximately 18 months old.
After six years of laying eggs, the gene pool for chickens become greatly diminished. In some breeds of chickens, they are expected to live as long as 15 years.
Industrially raised free range chicken age at twice the rate of their caged-birds. If you are in the business of buying baby chicks to raise for profit, you will want to invest in only top quality prepared chicks.
This is a safety measure to protect the baby chicks from disease and disease spread.
Typically the males are of lesser quality in appearance. What boy got the best grades on the last spelling test?
How Long Do Chickens Lay Eggs?
The life expectancy of chickens depends on the type of breed, but generally, most chickens will live anywhere from six to ten years. However, there are breeds that can live up to fifteen years.
Throughout their life, they will produce an average of 300 to 350 eggs annually. So, if you take into account the fact that eggs are laid at 21 days intervals, you will have a total of 6,300 to 7,000 eggs over the course of their lifetime.
Another aspect to consider is that if you want to sell your eggs, the best success will be if you wait another 7 weeks, until your chickens are between 20 and 24 weeks old. In this case, they will be producing their second batch of eggs and, therefore, be able to produce a greater quality of eggs.
Shape, texture, and color of the eggs will vary. In fact, the color of your eggs can depend on several factors, such as the breed, the health of the hen, and the amount of time the chicken has been laying eggs.
To continue to be productive, a chicken usually starts decreasing its production by about 2% per year, so each year, they will produce fewer eggs.
What To Do If You Can’t Keep Your Hens
It’s not easy to find organic feed in small quantities. Assuming that the hens are laying several eggs per week, you’ll be going through several pounds of feed. This use rate varies, depending on the size of your flock.
You could decide not to feed your flock, but that does not make them self-sufficient, even if you’re feeding them some bugs and plants from time to time. They’ll still need an organic chicken feed to stay healthy enough, while laying eggs.
The easiest solution is to join a CSA, where you’ll get a regular supply of produce or eggs. In this case, the problem of chicken feed will be solved for good.
Another option is to build a chicken coop, where you can grow their food. Obviously, this isn’t an option for people who keep chickens in the backyard. Large scale chicken farmers have a fully automatic setup for feeding, but for most people, it’s more realistic to feed the chickens yourself.
So how much food does your flock need? That depends on their age, size, and how many are in your flock. Weigh them, once before you start feeding them and once after four weeks. The difference will indicate how much they’ve grown.